The Flyers and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation have enjoyed a nearly decade-long partnership with the Trump organization, and it’s one that may not be coming to an end.
In June, The Inquirer reported this year’s Philadelphia Flyers Celebrity Golf Invitational would be the foundation's final tournament to be played at Trump National Philadelphia in Pine Hill, New Jersey citing "passions that have been stirred by recent events,” which at the time was stated on the foundation website.
However, the decision to leave Trump National Philadelphia has not been finalized, and as of now, tournament organizers have not started a search for a new venue in 2019.
“We have a contract through this year, and as we do whenever contracts expire, we’ll examine all of our options,” Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation CEO Scott Tharp said.
“Trump has been a terrific supporter of ours. The questions we’ve gotten is why would you support a Trump facility and people really have that backwards. Trump supported us for nine years now. They donate the course, they donate the greens fees. It would be very hard to replace that.”
In addition to the complimentary green fees and carts, Trump National Philadelphia also donated four golfing packages to this year’s silent auction items in which the minimum bids started between $1,000-$1,500. Those packages at Trump-owned golf resorts were expected to raise at minimum $5,000 for the foundation.
In all, the annual Philadelphia Flyers Celebrity Golf Invitational — which isn’t organized by the team — is the single-biggest fundraising event for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and the 2018 tournament raised $1.2 million for services and programs serving underprivileged youth in the Delaware Valley.
Several Flyers — including Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, Brian Elliott and Andrew MacDonald — did not participate in this year’s tournament because of injury concerns, but they were on hand for the dinner and reception that followed.
Tharp says no player has chosen to sit out the event as a protest to Donald Trump and his policies as President of the United States.
Last year, the USGA drew enormous criticism when it refused to move the 72nd U.S. Women’s Open from the Trump National course in Bedminster, New Jersey, which is also the future site of the 2022 PGA Championship.